If you got to this page expecting Gil’s Thrilling Web, you’re in the right place. Don’t let the new look and feel scare or fool you. This is the new home for the restaurant reviews on which you’ve counted for years–different format, same place. The transition from static Web to blog was inevitable and years in coming. There are several reasons why this transition makes sense.
The main reason for me to move to a blog is that blogs are much more interactive than conventional Web sites. You, my dear readers, can leave comments about my reviews and let me know if you agree with my recommendations or if you believe I’ve totally missed the mark. In our increasingly connected and shrinking world, blogs are community while Web sites are islands. Please note that while Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog is more interactive, I hope not to publish any personal attacks (the type of which are replete in the blogosphere) on me or the restaurants I review. From among the hundreds of e-mails I’ve received over the past ten years, 99 percent of them have been positive and constructive. That’s the type of dialogue missing nowadays in our increasingly uncivil world, but it’s typical of the class my readers have displayed.
A more selfish reason for moving to a blog is that care and feeding of a static Web site is sometimes painstakingly manual and time-consuming. Blogs are much easier to create and maintain. This will allow me to focus on reviews instead of formatting. Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog automatically links all my reviews and pages, something I used to have to do manually. All content is organized by date and category so you can more quickly and easily find the specific review for which you might be looking.
Blogs are search engine friendly. My old Web site didn’t have internal search capabilities and although many folks found my reviews using Google, Yahoo or any of the myriad of search engines in the Webosphere, now you can search directly from within my Web site. You can also find your favorite restaurants by clicking on the “Categories” menu on the navigation menu located on the right side of each page. For example, if you wish to find my review of Mad Max’s BBQ, you can either use the search engine or click on the “Barbecue” category and find it there.
If you’re concerned about not being able to track my most recent visits as you did in my old Web site, please note that all postings are in date order from most recent to the first review documented on this site way back in the year 2000. The “Recent Posts” menu on each page lists my most recent fifteen visits. If you don’t want to visit my Web site every day to read about my latest visit, you’ll be happy to know I’ll be implementing subscription capabilities to my reviews using my blog’s RSS (Really Simple Syndication) capabilities. These will essentially deliver my latest reviews automatically to your inbox.
Lastly, maybe now the pulchritudinous KASA Fox news anchor Jessica Garate can wax eloquent about my blog on her segment about the Web. Somehow in her tireless efforts to showcase “the best sites on the Web,” she never found my old Web site.
Note: The lovely and talented Jessica Garate featured this blog on her September 25th, 2008 segment and several other times subsequently.
I’m often asked by people who value my restaurant reviews why I would provide such a service without being paid for it. It’s a question I stopped asking myself years ago. Over the past twelve years of writing about restaurants, my social circle has expanded widely to include many wonderful people I would not otherwise have had the honor and privilege to now call friends.
I’ve received effusive gratitude, enthusiastic praise and even the occasional criticism, but this isn’t about ego. I’d write about restaurants even if no one read my reviews. The fact is many people do read my every word and they use my recommendations to help them decide where to dine. Most indications are that I have not led too many people astray.
Let me recount just one example as to why writing reviews is so very personally rewarding in ways monetary remuneration could not even approximate.
In 2007, I received an e-mail from Skip and Sue Munoz in Orlando, Florida asking for my help in obtaining Los Potrillos recipe for Chiles Rellenos en Ahogada, a fabulous rich Mexican dish which originated in Puebla, Mexico. Before they had the opportunity to try the recipe, Skip became seriously ill and over the course of several months, would wage a courageous battle for his life. Sue, a living angel, stayed at his bedside throughout the ordeal and kept me and his legion of friends apprised of Skip’s progress.
When he regained enough strength to write, Skip e-mailed me to express his gratitude for my concern over his well-being, touched that I would care so much even though we had never met. We made plans to share his beloved Chiles Rellenos en Ahogada during his next trip to the Land of Enchantment. Kim and I had dinner with Skip and Sue on August 30th, 2008 and did indeed share a dish we all love. Moreover, we shared a wonderful evening of animated laughter and fellowship with two tremendous people we are now proud to call friends. It will be the first of many meals we share with them. How can you possibly put a pricetag on that?
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t profusely thank my friend Seth Chadwick for all his help with the technical, usability and design aspects of creating a blog. Seth’s Feasting in Phoenix blog sets the standard so if you notice similarities between the look and feel of my blog and his, it’s by design–and entirely flattering of Seth’s tremendous creativity. I’ve rarely met anyone as selfless and helpful as Seth has been in getting me up and running. Thank you as well to Joe Vaughan for his very helpful heuristics (usability in design) suggestions. If you like the design of this site, much of that has to do with Joe’s direct and honest feedback.
So, there you have it. Gil’s Thrilling Web is now Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog. Please let me know what you think–about my reviews, the format, the font-size, etc. I look forward to hearing from you.